From Mrs. Erika:
For these first few weeks, daily practice will look very much the same as we try to establish good habits, build muscle, and develop coordination. For our younger students, it is especially important that we go in small steps and do not start making things harder until the previous steps are becoming more doable for them.
Ideally, even when things are going well, I would recommend that most of the practice session be focused on “reviewing and refining” previous concepts. As they get better, we will raise our standards for violin hold, bow hold, bow use, and anything else we add.
Therefore, we are having much of the same practice as last week, and adding on a couple of things (mainly the bow hold work).
Listen every day to the recordings (you can find “Suzuki Twinkle Variation A” on youtube, or buy the professional recordings I recommend, which I will attach the link to)
Practice Good Violin Posture and Hold
Make sure the shoulder rest/sponge is in place before
1) Rest Position and Playing position feet (feet together vs. V and apart). Standing up straight with good balance
2) Violin in rest position under right arm
3) Practice looking to the left without the belly button moving (like an owl moves it’s head)
4) Grab shoulder of violin with Left Hand (on top side of violin closest to scroll that does NOT have the chin rest on the same side)
5) lift violin out with left hand (same hand)
6) Flip Violin
7) Help your student lower the violin on the collarbone (head should still be looking left while belly button stays straight)
8) Student rests head on chin rest. You will know they are doing it right if they can let go of left hand without the violin falling down or moving
We starting turning this into to the “numbers game” the other day, so feel free to use the numbers to get them to certain positions, we will be starting to do this in class more!
*check that both shoulders are relaxed
9) Once we get here, try to keep the violin in this position while listening to at least 1 Twinkle variation (if they can listen to more while keeping it in the correct position, even better).
*Your student may struggle with any one of these steps. Do not proceed to the next step until your student has done well with all of the previous ones. I recommend at least 10 correct repetitions of each step that the student struggles with. These do not need to happen all at the same time if the student is losing focus (e.g. do 5 in the morning, 5 in the afternoon)
Extra Credit: Clapping Game. This is great to do when your student is tired, unfocused, or just needs a change of pace. Focus on a steady beat and accurate rhythm.
We are trying to develop good posture and strength to hold our violin for longer periods for the future, so please take the time to ensure these are done every day to build good habits and muscle. Feel free to review the pictures attached
New: Bow Hold Work:
It is very important that the parent help the student with the bow hold t avoid them developing tension.
1)Draw the dots that I showed you in class on the students hand (or look at the picture attached)
2)Make sure their hand is relaxed while you help shape their fingers
3) Slide the bow in their relaxed hand until you reach the frog (you can make it fun by pretending it is a train moving along tracks)
4) We want to “hide the dots” on the bow (this is where the fingers should touch). For now we are putting the thumbs on the outside of the frog until they can learn to keep it bent. Once they have been keeping it bent consistently without reminders, we will move it to the “advanced” bow hold where we place it inside the frog.
5) Check that thumb is bent (creating a circle with the middle finger) and the pinky is bent and on top of the stick
6) Assist them with moving the bow into a vertical position.
7) Try to keep them holding it correctly as long as possible. In class we sang a song, and played a game where we tried to stick erasers/small toys through the circle make with their thumb.
“Up like a rocket
Down like the rain
back and forth like a choochoo train
Round and round like a great big sun
put your bow in your hand
tap your pinky and your thumb
Repeat first part.
The following link has many pictures of a correct bow hold from many angles for your reference.
Bow Hand Dot Photos: Attached below
Below is your Theory Homework. Click on the link to print!
Theory homework: THSO Theory Book One – page 3